CHICAGO (CBS) — The Museum of Science and Industry has opened a new exhibit offering a rare glimpse inside the secretive government agency behind technological breakthroughs that helped give us the internet and GPS technology.

The exhibit is called “DARPA: Redefining Possible.”

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“DARPA stands for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,” said DARPA deputy director Dr. Steven Walker.

President Dwight Eisenhower launched DARPA in 1958, in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik, the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.

“One of the best ways to prevent technological surprise is to create technological surprise, and so that’s a lot of what you see here,” Walker said.

DARPA works in collaboration with the private sector, which is behind about two-thirds of research and development funding.

John Beckman, director of exhibit design and development at MSI, said DARPA has been responsible for technological innovations that are all around us.

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“Little things like the internet, GPS, a lot of medical devices, a lot of the components in our cell phones, even things in video games,” he said.

Over its nearly 60 year history, many of DARPA’s projects have been kept secret, but the exhibit offers a glimpse at the technology it has helped develop.

“We have robots on display, prosthetic limbs, there’s a couple fun interactives, there’s one where you get to design a little robot,” Beckman said.

Part of the goal of the exhibit is to spur young people’s interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“There’s a lot to see in here, and I think a lot of eye-opening stuff. For instance, when young people go ‘Well, I’m not that interested in science or math,’ it’s like ‘Well, look at what these guys are doing,’”

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The exhibit runs through Sept. 5.